Constructive criticism: name one thing that annoys you most

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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pixelfck
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:12 pm

Hello,

I guess we all have things we like less about transcendence. This topic is about what you personally don't like.

Rule 1:
This topic is *not* meant to be full of negative comments, instead, it is meant to serve as constructive criticism. Please keep this in mind when posting comments :-)

Rule 2:
There may be some temptation to jump to the defence of Transcendence and argue about the posted annoyances. Arguing about personal opinions is not all that helpful and could easily spiral down into the flamewar. To prevent this, I would like to ask everyone to refrain from arguing the points posted here.

~Pixelfck
Last edited by pixelfck on Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pixelfck
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:12 pm

The thing that puts me off most (and the issue which prompted me to create this topic) is the non-forward compatibility of mods.

Whenever there is a new release, I can rest assured: my mods are broken. Not all of them, but most of them typically require changes to get them working again. The 'problem' is that I need to do a three-way compare to figure out which code changes affect my mods, which parts are non-compatibe and what I need to do to fix it.

Solutions? I don't know; a less invasive method of overwriting vanilla content would probably help, though.

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Jay2Jay
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:42 pm

two words Facing System. In order to get a smooth looking transition you must make a model and then take at least X amount of pictures which must all be rotated X amount of degrees and it makes the entire thing take up so much more space in order to get a crappy looking thing to look slightly less crappy. It's bulky, time-consuming, and makes me not want to make ships for a mod. I understand that it was implemented because of the constraints of the time, however I still don't understand why it hasn't been replaced by at least a "single image that rotates" or preferably a "full 3d rendered model" version. I know that would take lots of time and would break every mod ever made, but it would save lots of time in the long run and make modding much easier.

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Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:03 pm

 My biggest one is probably how hard it is for modders to get up-to-date documentation.
 While a lot of the basics and most frequently modded stuff is adequate, more or less, there’s a lot of more exotic things that can be done that it’s almost impossible to get information on — be it up-to-date or otherwise, in many cases. The fncHelp function can help with tLISP functions and a lot of the code in the Transcendence.tdb file is fairly well commented. What XML elements are valid where, Options that can be used in XML elements, or populated variables in various event elements, to name a few things, are often difficult to find even when they are documented. TransData usage recently got somewhat clarified in a post on Multiverse, but TransCompiler is almost hopelessly opaque as it currently stands.
 Also, a different track on the same topic, lore is restricted almost entirely to what can be gleaned from gameplay. For modders trying to keep from stepping on canon’s toes, this can be an issue.
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:08 pm

I'm torn between saying 32-bit transcendence (converting it to 64-bit), because of the very limited memory footprint that TSB doesn't fit in, or saying poor enemy AI, because they rarely use their weapons appropriately (Such as range limitations, etc), and often a group of enemies will just end up tripping over themselves rather than effectively attacking, so often my cool ideas for NPC ships often end up performing mediocre at best due to the AI limitations.
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FourFire
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:51 pm

One Idea I had for too large AI groups is that if a ship detected more than (whatever group size is most effective) of the same ship type and same faction, then the group will split into two groups which will attempt to attack the target from different directions.

Ok now for constructive criticism: I wish there was more you could do to effect the power balance of various factions in the vanilla game:
I.E. If you provide raw materials, or equipment to the commonwealth fleet, they spawn ships from CSCs, or have a stronger presence in later systems.

I would also enjoy more dynamic, shared between systems reputation, for example, if you go out of your way to kill every single sung base, they may begin to swarm you as soon as you enter a system, or fear you, abandoning stations and moving away, Hell even if you became a pirate, and the sum of the commonwealth militia gates in to come after you once you start breaking stations in St. Kats.

Basically more larger scale player-faction interaction.
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Xephyr
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:24 pm

The game has a pretty steep learning curve, but after that its pretty easy. I don't need to put a lot of thought into my games anymore.
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:12 pm

No post-Heretic content yet after years of waiting. I want high-powered ships and (level 11+) items, among other things.
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JohnBWatson
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:34 pm

Jay2Jay wrote:two words Facing System. In order to get a smooth looking transition you must make a model and then take at least X amount of pictures which must all be rotated X amount of degrees and it makes the entire thing take up so much more space in order to get a crappy looking thing to look slightly less crappy. It's bulky, time-consuming, and makes me not want to make ships for a mod. I understand that it was implemented because of the constraints of the time, however I still don't understand why it hasn't been replaced by at least a "single image that rotates" or preferably a "full 3d rendered model" version. I know that would take lots of time and would break every mod ever made, but it would save lots of time in the long run and make modding much easier.
Too much space taken up by files, and a single rotating image would be impossible. However, I have wanted a way to automatically turn 3d models into facing setups.

Xephyr wrote:The game has a pretty steep learning curve, but after that its pretty easy. I don't need to put a lot of thought into my games anymore.
I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps making the better weapons a bit rarer, and making them sometimes not appear at all in some games, would help with this. For example, some games might not have any Fusionfires.

or saying poor enemy AI, because they rarely use their weapons appropriately (Such as range limitations, etc), and often a group of enemies will just end up tripping over themselves rather than effectively attacking, so often my cool ideas for NPC ships often end up performing mediocre at best due to the AI limitations.
This is the major suggestion I was going to make, and you said it better than I could have. Hopefully CSC America's AI system will improve this significantly, as I don't see the current AI working in an RTS.

What bothers me personally is the fact that massive commodity gradients just seem to go unresolved. Two stations right next to each other simply should not have a potential 20,000 credit profit from trading between them.

A simple means of resolving this is by decreasing buy price variation based on the level of development in the system. Stations in the middle of nowhere should have higher demand for needed goods than ones in St. Katherine's.

I would also enjoy more dynamic, shared between systems reputation, for example, if you go out of your way to kill every single sung base, they may begin to swarm you as soon as you enter a system, or fear you, abandoning stations and moving away
Love it. Love everything about it.

Another thing that irks me is the low level of activity that goes on beyond the player's interaction with the system. Freighters spawn occasionally and wrecks are scuttled, but aside from that there's nothing that really happens despite the fact that the local CSC was frantically sending you on missions to raid Ares convoys and halt sieges just a minute ago.

Some simple means of resolving this have been discussed in the past, including making freighters smarter and actually capable of hauling goods between stations. Here are some examples of things that I think would help to alleviate the problem:


Charon raids on escorted NPC freighters.

Korolov launches attacks on frigates that kill too many freighters, similarly to how it attacks Strongholds.

Rather than spawning frigates in, have a set number be present in the system, and simply send them to attack freighters when needed.

Militia and Fleet aligned stations/CSCs ought to send ships to defend civilian stations.

Every so often, a CSC should automatically carry out an escort mission for a refueling run. Attacks on these escorts should be smaller and more conventional than those on player escorted freighters, and should not always occur.

Rarely, Ares convoys should spawn on their own, moving between stargates.

Finally, missions all too often do nothing to improve the state of a system, are rarely affected by the system's current situation, and at times worsen it. Korolov missions add more frigates, Militia missions have the player destroy a station but otherwise help nothing, and Fleet missions just spawn an enemy out of nowhere for you to fight. It would be nice if factions reacted to their standing in a particular system. A CSC shouldn't come under attack in an empty system, and it might not need the player at all. This would make the game harder, but that's not a bad thing, especially when that difficulty grows naturally from increased immersiveness.

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Xephyr
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:31 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:
Xephyr wrote:The game has a pretty steep learning curve, but after that its pretty easy. I don't need to put a lot of thought into my games anymore.
I wouldn't say to do that, because I find myself sticking with low level weapons quite frequently. Sometimes I get to Heretic before realizing I've been using an Akan 600 turret.

This is something that would be really hard to work out, because a lot of newcomers find the game pretty difficult already. It's a headscratcher for sure.
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Song
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:39 pm

There's three for me. First is the damage type system: Weapons should really differ in terms of their effects, not "This one is useless after this point because SCIENCE". Likewise EMP and the like

Second is the sound mixer and music system. The music system is bolted onto the game and apparently causes crash bugs in Wine a lot, and the sound mixer doesn't seem to have been touched since 2003 or so...it overloads easily, lags the hell out of the game when it does so, and the game is really lacking good sound design. The music itself is excellent though.

Finally, AI and item power-creep. Not much more that needs to be said...the AI and a lot of balancing settings have been left behind by years of newer content. We could really use a full major version dedicated to nothing but an AI and balance overhaul.
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:43 pm

Xephyr wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote:
Xephyr wrote:The game has a pretty steep learning curve, but after that its pretty easy. I don't need to put a lot of thought into my games anymore.
I wouldn't say to do that, because I find myself sticking with low level weapons quite frequently. Sometimes I get to Heretic before realizing I've been using an Akan 600 turret.

This is something that would be really hard to work out, because a lot of newcomers find the game pretty difficult already. It's a headscratcher for sure.
If you usually go for artillery blast weapons and a blackmarket trading, then you shall be fine for the rest of the game in credits. I usually get a fusionfire howitzer and high quality gear near the beginning of Ares Space.

One thing that really frustrates me in-game is not having a space station[insert role] when you need it under certain circumstances. However, that is just me being unfortunate. However, I would LOVE to see a deeper lore to the current factions we have.

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Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:12 pm

Personally the thing that annoys me the most is that the Kronosaurus spawns after 3 or 4 charon frigate deaths and killing it makes you an instant master. Because of how many frigates spawn, I normally have to just tank damage so that the freighter I'm escorting doesn't die. Otherwise, I would have killed too many frigates and won't be able to get the class V deflector which is really good.

The next thing is that when you finish the mission, the frigate starts wandering off somewhere and gets killed to which someone scuttles its wreck or a nomad loots its corpse leaving me no loot.

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JohnBWatson
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:28 pm

SolarGalaxy wrote:Personally the thing that annoys me the most is that the Kronosaurus spawns after 3 or 4 charon frigate deaths and killing it makes you an instant master. Because of how many frigates spawn, I normally have to just tank damage so that the freighter I'm escorting doesn't die. Otherwise, I would have killed too many frigates and won't be able to get the class V deflector which is really good.

The next thing is that when you finish the mission, the frigate starts wandering off somewhere and gets killed to which someone scuttles its wreck or a nomad loots its corpse leaving me no loot.
Exactly why I recommended this:

"Rather than spawning frigates in, have a set number be present in the system, and simply send them to attack freighters when needed."

Xephyr wrote:
I wouldn't say to do that, because I find myself sticking with low level weapons quite frequently. Sometimes I get to Heretic before realizing I've been using an Akan 600 turret.
I think resolving AI issues would make this a much less effective tactic. An Akan may work against some things, but against a Phobos or Deimos that makes full use of its main gun, you'll need something really up to date to handle it alone.

Of course, some factions just really need a re-balance. The Ventari have nothing except a large, slow ship with no long ranged weaponry, so any howitzer can kill them with enough time.
This is something that would be really hard to work out, because a lot of newcomers find the game pretty difficult already. It's a headscratcher for sure.
Much of the difficulty decline is a result of learning how to exploit broken mechanics, like the inability of enemies to fight at a long distance, the ability to hide next to a BM station and have everything hesitate to shoot you, the way one has practically infinite money after stopping at St. Kat's, and the Teraton Fabricator.

Also, the Antarctica mission. Saving it is trivial with shatter, takes no prerequisite missions, the reward for doing so is a gem that kills anything instantly(which will never become obsolete), and grants an extra mission in Heretic that lets the player win more quickly. In comparison, killing it requires some of the longest and most challenging mission paths in the game and yields a weapon that is mediocre at best and rather useless against the Ares, which it was supposed to be made to fight. It's useful against the Iocrym, but that's about it.

I'd recommend buffing the lamplighter to 90% Tev9 range, upping damage so it can 1hit a sandstorm, and giving it a minor blast radius effect. It'd still be beaten out by other weapons in their own categories, but the difference wouldn't be as extreme and it'd actually be useful at the point one can obtain it.

While I'm on the subject, the Antarctica fight could do to be somewhat more epic. I'm aware that it's been pursued for a while now, and has likely faced some attrition as well as some opposition from the pilots, but only having a single squadron of Centurions is a bit depressing, especially when one is fighting it with a howitzer and is completely out of range of its main guns.

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Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:11 am

The time it takes to finish one game.
I've played at least ~3-4 full games and my average time to finish is 24 hours. I know that other games like RPGs have long gameplay times but when I first came into T I thought that the game would be a ~3-4 hour endeavour and not a full day. You can probably argue that the 1-2 hours I spent mining Eridani could be cut off but that's still ~22 hours for a complete game. I'm pretty sure a lot of players still haven't seen Heretic or a Phobos yet.
fix ideas:
Have a new class (NOT the Pilgrim) that is an advanced start but is a shorter campaign and a different player character.
Start options are St. Kat's (probably a St. Kat's university storyline), Point Juno(CW/Ares storyline), maybe Sanctuary (Sister's storyline).


Combat
A lot of time most of the combat is just gaming the system by parking yourself on planets or the sun(I don't think that's changed in 1.6) and gaming the bad AI by baiting them and just shooting back (and your ability to fire back is limited by facings).

I think combat should be a *little* bit deeper than just skirmishes with bad AI.

Couple fix ideas:
-give all forward facing weapons a 5 degree swivel
-get the AI to cooperate with each other/ run away if they might die
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